Lawrence professors move on and out

Sarah Buckley

Each year, it is interesting to watch the campus dynamic change as seniors who have been around for years, seniors we have grown to love, prepare to graduate and make room for new freshmen to enter the Lawrence community the following year. Rarely, however, do students consider that the professors at our school often go through a similar ritual at the end of the year. This year in particular, Lawrence students and faculty must say goodbye to a number of professors who make up an important part of the Lawrence community. I recently had the chance to talk with a some of these outgoing professors.
Professor Catherine Hollis, after teaching English at Lawrence for the past four years, recently decided to move back home to Oakland, Calif. Although she says she will miss the Midwest, Hollis is looking forward to returning to a climate that “feels more like home,” surrounded by mountains and near the ocean – I guess the Fox River just can’t compare. Since she is leaving after her fourth year of teaching here, Hollis says that she feels as though she is graduating with the freshmen she began teaching her first year at Lawrence.
Throughout her Lawrence career, Hollis has specialized in teaching modernist fiction, the works of authors like James Joyce and Virginia Woolf. Hollis insists that being in the classroom with her students has been “absolutely the best part” of her Lawrence experience.
This upcoming fall she will begin teaching a Bloomsbury course at Berkeley and is contemplating the idea of eventually teaching English at private high schools in her area. As far as the summer goes, however, Hollis is especially looking forward to spending some quality time in the sun and practicing her surfing skills. She apologizes to all the students who were signed up to take her Bloomsbury course at the London Centre next fall, and assures them that they will have a wonderful time nonetheless.
Another English professor who Lawrence will be losing next year is Professor Gina Bloom, who was on temporary leave this year working at the University of Wisconsin’s Institute for Research in the Humanities. She has recently completed the manuscript for her new book, “Choreographing Voice: Agency and the Staging of Gender in Early Modern England” and has also had the opportunity to organize a seminar on children in early modern literature for the Shakespeare Association of America Conference.
Bloom has selected a position as assistant professor of English at the University of Iowa next year, where she’ll be able to work with graduate students, supervising masters’ theses and doctoral dissertations. Bloom says that in particular, she will miss Lawrence’s freshman studies program. “There aren’t too many universities where a professor of Shakespeare gets to delve into Taoist philosophy with her students,” she says. Bloom looks back fondly at many of her experiences at Lawrence, especially the Freeman Foundation Trip to Japan that she was able to go on.
Another professor leaving this year is Christian Grose, who has been teaching government at Lawrence for the past three years. His focus has been on American politics, specifically on elections and parties. Two years ago Grose wrote a dissertation entitled “Beyond the Vote,” which discussed racial representation in Congress.
Next year, Grose will be moving back home to the South to teach political science at Vanderbilt University. He says that committed junior and senior government majors at Lawrence might benefit from his new position at Vanderbilt because they’ll have him as a connection should they choose to apply there for graduate studies. The professor maintains that he “doesn’t want to forget” his students and that their choice to further their education at Vanderbilt would be a good way to stay connected. He jokes, “I was disappointed that my students didn’t watch C-Span, so I’m leaving.”
Despite his misgivings about leaving his students at Lawrence, Grose is confident that he is leaving the government department in good hands. “I will miss all the Lawrence students and most of the Lawrence faculty,” he notes with a smile.
Just as it is difficult for students to see their peers as well as faculty leave Lawrence, these professors have admitted that it is just as hard for them to say goodbye. Please note that this is not a complete list of all the professors leaving Lawrence this year, and that all professors who intend to leave have positively impacted the Lawrence community and will surely be missed.
To all the professors who are embarking on new adventures, best wishes with whatever you choose to do and thank you for contributing to our education.